Cowan's defence of Ahern at the Humbert School


Press

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Brian Cowan’s defence of Bertie Ahern at the Humbert School in Ballina is curious in regard to its timing and to its selective nature. It comes just three weeks before Ahern is due to answer some crucial questions before the Mahon tribunal, principal of which is how a Minister for Finance earning approximately £50,000 a year could lodge to his account in a short time between 1993 and 1995 upwards of £120,000, despite having to maintain two separate houses for himself and his separated wife and daughters.

Cowan argues that after ten years the public understand that Ahern “is not motivated by personal gain” Ahern, it is generally agreed, presents an image of a man who lives modestly, with none of the ostentation of his mentor, CJ Haughey. But, power, like wealth is a huge attraction for a politician and Ahern has always relished being at the top table. He sat at Haughey’s feet for years and would have to be blind and deaf not to recognise the extent of the corruption going on around him as scores of back slappers turned up with their grubby pounds to secure planning permissions or designation of building sites to avoid taxes.

Ahern himself contributed to the general lowering of standards by signing dozens of blank cheques for Haughey fro the Party’s Oireachtas fund. At the same time, he was aware of thousands of pounds being contributed to individuals for Party funds which were never passed on to the Party.

Among the lodgements made to Ahern’s account in December, 1994 was a sum of £30,000 which, he claimed had been brought to his office by a Manchester businessman in sterling in a brief case. The money was lodged in the bank a couple of days later, except that bank officials told the Tribunal that the largest amount of sterling lodged that day was just under £2000 and that Ahern’s lodgement was “probably in dollars”.

All of these matters raised legitimate concerns for the newspapers who pursued them but got no satisfactory answers. Cowan obviously feels they should not have been pursued and that Ahern was hounded by journalists as if suspicion surrounding the financial affairs of the country’s leading politician should not be allayed.

There was never any question of Ahern’s personal probity until he himself disclosed last September that he had taken thousands of pounds from a group of friends for his own personal use. He claimed the money was a loan but thirteen years later had not repaid the money until the issue became public knowledge. Several of his friends were appointed to the boards of State agencies for which they had no qualifications except that they were “his friends” as he told the Dail. At the same time he disclosed that he had been given a gift of £8,000 by a group of businessmen in Manchester. Their names were not disclosed and there was no explanation for their generosity.

Despite the widespread concern aroused by these events, Cowan says the public showed an innate sense of fair play which is willing to hear all the information before reaching a conclusion. Ahern, however, has had several opportunities to explain his position in the Dail, on television, in newspaper interviews and through his legal advisors in the Tribunal. Up to now, most of the explanations have simply added to the confusion. Most decent minded people find it inconceivable that their Taoiseach would allow a cloud of suspicion to hang over his financial affairs without coming forward with irrefutable evidence that he has not been guilty of any wrongdoing and that the allegations of receiving backhanders from building speculators are without foundation. Cowan does him no service by pretending it is all a newspaper conspiracy to damage Ahern.
 

jerryp

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I haven't seen the speech, but I suspect it is a clever tactic by Cowen to kick - start his leadership ambitions. Being seen as loyal and supportive to Bertie now pre-empts any accusations of disloyalty should he make a move after the Taoiseach gets tangled up at the Tribunal.
 

droghedasouth

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jerryp said:
I haven't seen the speech, but I suspect it is a clever tactic by Cowen to kick - start his leadership ambitions. Being seen as loyal and supportive to Bertie now pre-empts any accusations of disloyalty should he make a move after the Taoiseach gets tangled up at the Tribunal.
Correct and right.

Defend the indefensible in as loud, boorish and bullying way as possible is how you impress your fellow FF party members.

Cowen has it all in spades.
 

TheBear

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<Mod>Moved to Fianna Fáil.</Mod>
 
G

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I had a look at the speech. There is very little defending of Bertie in it. It was the least he could say to be consistent with his previous analyses of the election.
 

jerryp

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ZhouEnlai said:
I had a look at the speech. There is very little defending of Bertie in it. It was the least he could say to be consistent with his previous analyses of the election.
" No person should have to go through what Bertie Ahern endured in those weeks and we can learn a lot from the public’s balanced and reflective response. After ten years, the public were not going to be rushed into making a judgement on the Taoiseach. They know him pretty well by now and they understand that he is not motivated by personal gain. They have seen the progress made under his leadership. He has never been a specialist in the soundbite approach to politics, but he has more than made up for this in the substance of his achievements.

The formation of a new Northern Executive and the events at the Boyne were reminders to the public of his truly historic contribution to the building of peace and reconciliation on this island. At Westminister they saw how he represents us with distinction as a statesman, showing how ours is a confident, forward-looking, European democracy which will not let age-old barriers get in the way of lasting progress. The testimonies of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and George Mitchell in our broadcasts resonated because their sentiments were shared by a public which knows that the choices made by Bertie Ahern as our Taoiseach, and not chance, stand at the heart of much of what we have achieved in the last decade."

He's fairly lashing it on there !
 

stanley

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Brown-nosing of the highest order, the very people he has robbed and sought to make fools of-the taxpayers, will have their say on the Bert through Judge Mahon and I would hold no great store by anything Clinton or Blair say not quite altar boys, that pair.
 

Phaedrus

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Defending the indefensible.

Brian Cowen is creating a smokescreen around Bertie Ahern's finances by talking about selected leaks from media. There is plenty of factual information in the public domain about Ahern's financial dealings. This information has been read into the record of the Mahon Tribunal. Bank statements don't lie. There is plenty of factual information available to the public that is a cause of great concern.

Less than one year ago we had no idea that Ahern was receiving numerous payments from various businessmen, that bank officials were transporting large wads of cash from his safe in Drumcondra to his bank accounts and that many of the donors were appointed to State Boards.

Ahern's explanations for these dubious dealings should be a cause of great concern to the Tanaiste. Brian Cowen is an honest man and should not allow himself to foolishly defend the indefensible.
 
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Whivh begs the question of what he did with all the back handers and dig outs he got over the years? He must have a massive balance on his bank account and how many accounts does he have and are any of them in Ireland?

Who controls a Taoiseach's finances as surely he can't do that himself due to the conflict of interest it would give rise to - then again it is FF and this is Ireland.
 

tonys

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Press said:
Among the lodgements made to Ahern’s account in December, 1994 was a sum of £30,000 which, he claimed had been brought to his office by a Manchester businessman in sterling in a brief case. The money was lodged in the bank a couple of days later, except that bank officials told the Tribunal that the largest amount of sterling lodged that day was just under £2000 and that Ahern’s lodgement was “probably in dollars”.
Bank officials at the Mahon Tribunal did not say that, They said that just under 2000.00 was recorded as being sterling, but also said that record couldn’t be relied upon as always being accurate. They never agreed that “Ahern’s lodgement” was “probably in dollars”, they agreed that IF the recording of the 2000.00 as the total of Sterling was accurate then the balance of that days foreign currency “probably was dollars” . The fact that you have to try and twist the story in this way shows how weak the case against Ahern really is, but as can be said of many posts similar to yours, don’t let the facts get in the way of your hopes.
What Gowan was saying that Ahern shouldn’t have been subject to was not the reporting of facts, but reporting “facts” in a style which your post very ably demonstrates.
 

stanley

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Tonys, You are a dreamer, Bertie lodged dollars and AIB have shown this beyond reasonable doubt, sterling and foreign notes were treated separately by AIB back then which is why they can clearly state under stg£2000- transacted that day. If Bertie and his lawyers could disprove AIB they would have done so already and not allowed the sham of bringing 4/5 AIB employees into the Tribunal to try a "divide and conquer" strategy to give Bertie a 001% element of doubt. As stated previously there is no upside for AIB as they seek to get distance from the FF rabble and quite clearly if Bertie could disprove their evidence he would have done so by now unless he has another tearful dithering performance to come at the Tribunal, he has been waffling about his sums for the last few months but this time he cannot fiddle them and I look forward to the Tribunal gutting him when he takes the stand.
 

stanley

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Also, if Bertie believes he is correct why not let live TV in to the Tribunal surely it will be the performance of his abysmal career
 
G

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Cowen was analysing the election and the electorate's actions. I think his analysis of how a lot of them viewed Ahern is correct.

stanley - I don't know how you can say Bertie Ahern has had an abysmal career. A comment like that indicates a tainted view of affairs.
 

stanley

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In boxing terms they would say Bertie could have been a contender, he learned the business of corruption at the table of his mentor, CJH, and has continued in this vein even trying to gloss over CJH's thievery, Bertie is obsessed with keeping power to the detriment of the nation and any good decisions would have been made anyway as the nation progresses, the guy was unable to control the corruption of his fellow FF'rs and joined in with them, he could have been a contender but he now matters for the wrong reasons, he should go now and end his abysmal career.
 

tonys

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stanley said:
Tonys, You are a dreamer, Bertie lodged dollars and AIB have shown this beyond reasonable doubt, sterling and foreign notes were treated separately by AIB back then which is why they can clearly state under stg£2000- transacted that day. If Bertie and his lawyers could disprove AIB they would have done so already and not allowed the sham of bringing 4/5 AIB employees into the Tribunal to try a "divide and conquer" strategy to give Bertie a 001% element of doubt. As stated previously there is no upside for AIB as they seek to get distance from the FF rabble and quite clearly if Bertie could disprove their evidence he would have done so by now unless he has another tearful dithering performance to come at the Tribunal, he has been waffling about his sums for the last few months but this time he cannot fiddle them and I look forward to the Tribunal gutting him when he takes the stand.
The recording of sums as either sterling or other currencies by AIB branches has been clearly shown to be such a haphazard process, proof of nothing, as to be meaningless for them at the time and for the Tribunal now, only the total IR equivalent value of all currencies had any importance and is the only figure from the branches that can be relied upon. That has been shown as clear as day and the fact that you continue to disregard this important point shows the rest of your posts on this subject for the wishful thinking they are.
 

sarak

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badly written and ill judged script obviously written by some junior person in the ff press office.
 

droghedasouth

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tonys said:
stanley said:
Tonys, You are a dreamer, Bertie lodged dollars and AIB have shown this beyond reasonable doubt, sterling and foreign notes were treated separately by AIB back then which is why they can clearly state under stg£2000- transacted that day. If Bertie and his lawyers could disprove AIB they would have done so already and not allowed the sham of bringing 4/5 AIB employees into the Tribunal to try a "divide and conquer" strategy to give Bertie a 001% element of doubt. As stated previously there is no upside for AIB as they seek to get distance from the FF rabble and quite clearly if Bertie could disprove their evidence he would have done so by now unless he has another tearful dithering performance to come at the Tribunal, he has been waffling about his sums for the last few months but this time he cannot fiddle them and I look forward to the Tribunal gutting him when he takes the stand.
The recording of sums as either sterling or other currencies by AIB branches has been clearly shown to be such a haphazard process, proof of nothing, as to be meaningless for them at the time and for the Tribunal now, only the total IR equivalent value of all currencies had any importance and is the only figure from the branches that can be relied upon. That has been shown as clear as day and the fact that you continue to disregard this important point shows the rest of your posts on this subject for the wishful thinking they are.
Who says the process was haphazard except apologists like you.
Their records show that it was not STG.

In response to cross-examination, they did say that their records MIGHT be wrong which can be said of any record.

The point is that AIB is a bank and the chances of this kind of record being wrong and not subsequently detected and corrected are vanishingly small.

But then there are none so blind as those who dont want to see and tonys you are in good company with 42% of those who voted.
 

tonys

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droghedasouth said:
tonys said:
stanley said:
Tonys, You are a dreamer, Bertie lodged dollars and AIB have shown this beyond reasonable doubt, sterling and foreign notes were treated separately by AIB back then which is why they can clearly state under stg£2000- transacted that day. If Bertie and his lawyers could disprove AIB they would have done so already and not allowed the sham of bringing 4/5 AIB employees into the Tribunal to try a "divide and conquer" strategy to give Bertie a 001% element of doubt. As stated previously there is no upside for AIB as they seek to get distance from the FF rabble and quite clearly if Bertie could disprove their evidence he would have done so by now unless he has another tearful dithering performance to come at the Tribunal, he has been waffling about his sums for the last few months but this time he cannot fiddle them and I look forward to the Tribunal gutting him when he takes the stand.
The recording of sums as either sterling or other currencies by AIB branches has been clearly shown to be such a haphazard process, proof of nothing, as to be meaningless for them at the time and for the Tribunal now, only the total IR equivalent value of all currencies had any importance and is the only figure from the branches that can be relied upon. That has been shown as clear as day and the fact that you continue to disregard this important point shows the rest of your posts on this subject for the wishful thinking they are.
Who says the process was haphazard except apologists like you.
Their records show that it was not STG.

In response to cross-examination, they did say that their records MIGHT be wrong which can be said of any record.

The point is that AIB is a bank and the chances of this kind of record being wrong and not subsequently detected and corrected are vanishingly small.

But then there are none so blind as those who dont want to see and tonys you are in good company with 42% of those who voted.
They went a lot further than saying it might be wrong, sometimes they didn’t record the amounts separately at all & the very fact that it didn’t matter if it was wrong or not is enough to tell you that that record cannot be relied on at all, this is obvious to anyone with an open mind on the subject, but I suppose that would expecting too much.
and BTW I'm most happy to be in that company.
 
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Tonys: you are a perfect example of the weasel world of law and FF denial. Ahern should never have received money from anyone - whether it was loans, gifts, presents, dig out, back hadners or whatever currency it was in. He was perfectly able to pay for his own debts and if he had an ounce of character he'd have told his friends 'thanks but no thanks' donate moeny to my charity instead etc. But as he learnt the art of corruption in his family home and at the feet of CJH he instead chose the sleaze route - to think as well he is such a hyporcrite he even goes to mass every week! Does he jsut go to mass or does he ever take confession?

You twist words to deny the undeniable and if you are an FFer then such a levle of denial is in a way understandable but it does you no service to keep pretending Ahern and many many many many others in FF are not crooks. Plain and simple.
 
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